Thursday, December 17, 2015

Original gifts made by adults with traumatic brain injuries (TBI)

Our clients with traumatic brain injuries (TBI) have been working hard in creating  wonderful gifts for you and yours this holiday season.

We have original handmade Christmas ornaments by Marcus.....

....  one of a kind tote bags by Takenya ....

... jewelry ...

... original designed and handmade greeting cards available in packaged sets of 10 assorted cards and individually...

... and so much more! Stop by and give the ones you love a special gift this season! 

Friday, December 11, 2015

CALL FOR ART: "Bianco: The White Show"

Gallery U is accepting submissions for our January exhibition, "Bianco: The White Show." The exhibition celebrates the color white and will include artwork of all mediums and styles that highlight white. We have found that when working with white, the most successful work relies on shades of white and texture. You can find submission guidelines to your right of this page. We look forward to seeing what everyone creates!

BUBBLE WARS prints now available

The recent NY Times featured image "Bubble Wars" by Donald David is now available to purchase as 11" x 14" matted prints. The original sold but you can still own a copy of this whimsical piece for yourself or loved ones. Donald's exhibition at Gallery U has been extended through January 4, 2016. Come by and check it out!

Image copyright Donald David. Image may not be used without the permission of Donald David

Monday, November 30, 2015

Gallery U Makes the New York Times

We are very pleased to announce that the feature image from Gallery U's exhibition "Art In the Boutique: Donald David" has been printed din the Sunday edition of the New York Times Metropolitan section. The exhibition has been extended until January 4th. Donald has some really detailed work that is extremely affordable. Stop by and take a look!

Friday, November 20, 2015

Sculptures of salvaged wood from Hurricane Sandy

As part of our annual small show, we have six wonderful pieces made by artists Laura Petrovich Cheney who used salvaged wood from Hurricane Sandy to create these 12" x 12" wood hanging sculptures. They are very affordably priced, along with 70 pieces of art by other artists, and would make a wonderful gifts for the holiday season. Stop by while supplies last.

From the artist: "After Hurricane Sandy divested the Northeast coastline of NJ and the surrounding area, I began collecting the remains left behind in it’s wake—floorboards, window frames, cabinets, furniture, exterior siding—anything that I could find that evoked life before the storm. My art continues to be inspired by traditional American patchwork quilt designs—designs that are familiar and comforting. I create new relationships between color, proportion, texture, and surfaces and never interfere with the original colors. the faded colors and tattered surfaces of the wood are a nostalgic glimpse into the past. The visual history of the salvaged wood— the chipped layers of paint, the nail holes, the grain—tells a story. Using a grid system, mathematical proportions and symmetry, I transform this salvaged wood into something new, fresh, and familiar. The work is rooted in repetition and pattern to mimic life, growth, regeneration, and tells a new story: what once was is born anew. "

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

"Art In the Boutique: AMY PUCCIO: Knock On Wood" reception this Friday, October 30

"Sugar and Spice"
Wood, Enamel, Acrylic and mixed media
17" x 13.5" x 2"

Gallery U in Westfield is pleased to exhibit “Knock On Wood”—the work of artist Amy Puccio from October 9 - November 2, 2015, as part of their “Art In the Boutique” series. Amy Puccio creates wood mosaic sculptures by cutting down left-over and unusable lengths of decorative picture frame moulding into many small pieces. She is able to engage this material in a novel way, creating her own ‘puzzle pieces’ that together create beautiful multi-dimensional wall reliefs. Her approach melds the masculine with the feminine  with astonishingly beautiful results.   

"Avant Gourd"
Wood, mixed media and acrylic
16" x 24" x 2"

"Bagel with Locks"
Wood with mixed media, enamel and acrylic
12" x 12" x 2"

Exposure to her father’s creative carpentry as a child, combined with a background in science and an understanding of ecology, has led to a form of wood sculpture that is unusual, compelling, and eco-friendly. “These sculptures have been compared to a jigsaw puzzle, but like the puzzle that is life, the pieces don’t always fit together so perfectly,” explains Puccio. “But we make them fit, and, inherent in the imperfection, we find something  beautiful.”

"The Art of the Mix Tape"
Wood and electric cable
11.5" x 18" x 2"

An opening reception is scheduled for Friday, October 30, 2015, from 6-8 PM. All are welcome. Artwork will be exhibited October 9 - November 2, 2015. Something Wicked This Way Comes:  Artwork Celebrating the Gothic & Beautifully Macabre will be on exhibit in the main gallery. Masquerade is encouraged!

"Fender Bender"
Wood and Mixed Media
38" x 14" x 3"

"Jumbo Toothbrush"
Wood and Acrylic
36" x 6" x 4"

About AMY PUCCIO: Amy Puccio graduated from Kean University with a double major in Biology and Chemistry. She was a product development chemist for nine years and briefly, a portrait photographer.  After becoming a stay-at-home mom, she started working part-time as a picture framer, learning on the job.  Amy began creating art while working in frame shops and in a contemporary art gallery. She built her first recycled-wood sculpture in 2006. Amy Puccio is a self-taught artist. 


I was lucky to be introduced to the work of Amy Puccio in 2013 during Gallery U’s time in Red Bank. I had included Amy’s piece, “One Step Backward Taken” in our white themed exhibition Bianco. I was enthralled with this abstract piece inspired by the Robert Frost poem of the same name. It included a hallowed out lightbulb with it’s inner workings replaced with a candle. I was astonished at the very idea that she was able to take apart something so fragile (the light bulb), add a new element (the candle) and create something even more delicate. Not to mention the fact that she assembled scrap pieces of frame into a piece of art. This was the first that I experienced the juxtaposition between the old and new, tradition with modernism, and a feminist approach that exemplifies Amy’s work. I was hooked.

I have followed Amy’s career ever since and I am always excited to see the new work that she creates. Amy was on the top of my list to invite to exhibit in our solo series “Art in the Boutique” at our new Westfield location. I was pleased that she accepted my invitation and especially pleased that she created some new pieces specifically for this exhibition. 

Amy creates objects familiar to almost everyone, but with a twist, wether it be a super sized toothbrush or a play on words (and objects) where she literally interprets a bagel and lox by using locks. Her whimsy abounds in these pieces as well as in “Art of the Mixtape” that immediately takes me back to the passiveness/agressiveness of creating mix tapes with a hidden message. 

Amy’s work takes me somewhere exciting. I’m astounded at the work and creativity involved in looking at scrap pieces of frames in a pile and envisioning a pitcher of milk with donuts, or a large scale set of handcuffs. What is even more astonishing is the process involved in putting pieces together like a puzzle and creating an image without even looking at a box cover for reference. 

This is the thought process involved in creating art: seeing something that doesn’t yet exist except in one’s mind, coaxing that idea out into the world and breathing life into it so that everyone can enjoy art. It’s a special quality that Amy Puccio has mastered. I imagine all of these pieces swimming around in her head, trying connections until they find the perfect fit and spilling out fully formed. Of course it is not this easy, but the behind the scenes preparation is the true brilliance that makes Amy Puccio and her work so special and unique. I hope you delight in her work as much as I do.  

Robert P. Langdon
October 2015


I create wood mosaic sculptures in the form of multi-dimensional wall reliefs. By cutting down left-over and unusable lengths of decorative picture frame moulding into many small pieces, I am able to engage this material in a novel way, creating my own ‘puzzle pieces.’
After planning and sketching are completed, construction begins with a single wood piece, selected for its size and shape and glued into place.  Small sections are glued down at a time and then once dry, are shaped and contoured with a hammer and chisel, like an eraser.  I glue and chisel the way some artists draw and erase, sometimes ‘drawing and erasing’ the same area multiple times. After repeated cycles of addition and subtraction, the desired image begins to emerge. A completed sculpture may incorporate anywhere from 300 to 2000 pieces, depending on the final dimensions.

My artistic expression resides in that place between rough-hewn and polished; between masculine and feminine; between whimsy and reality.  Much of my work is inspired by food, music, and everyday objects - a zipper, pea pod, toothbrush – where detail is highlighted by ‘supersizing,’ hopefully transforming the ordinary into the extraordinary.

Amy Puccio
October, 2015

SOMETHING WICKED THIS WAY COMES masquerade party this Friday, October 30th

Masquerade Reception this Friday, October 30 from 6-8 PM. All are welcome and encouraged to come in costume. 

Gallery U is pleased to host their annual Halloween exhibition, "Something Wicked This Way Comes: Artwork Celebrating the Gothic and Beautifully Macabre." This year’s exhibition will include images from New York based artist Krys Fox’s annual series “The 31 Days of Halloween.” Since 2012 Fox has been using his camera to recreate scenes from classic horror films. Gallery U will be exhibiting highlights of the series from the past three years. In addition, they will also be exhibiting images from French artist and Maplewood resident, Elisabeth Antoine’s series “Scary Tales.” The series depicts classic tales in stark black and reds on wood.

Krys Fox
"31 Days Of Halloween: The Shining"
Photograph: Digital C Print
14" x 18"

Elisabeth Antoine
"Scary Tales 2: Alice In Wonderland"
Mixed media on Wood Board
9" x 12"

Additional artists participating in “Something Wicked This Way Comes” include Virginia Carroll (Westfield), Lauren Curtis (Franklin Park), Teresa DeFabrizio  (Montclair), Brooke Gardiner (Mountainside), Janice Gossman (Garwood), Cathleen McCoy Bristol (Maplewood), Winston Mitlo, Kathy Nademus (Fords), David Nicolato (Verona), Brian O’Boyle (Bergenfield), Christy O’Connor (Atlantic Highlands), Nancy Ori (Berkeley Heights), Vicki Parker (Scotch Plains), Phyllis Raffelson (Cliffside Park), Lynn Ronan (Midland Park), Beth Ferris-Sale (Berkeley Heights), Takenya (Livingston), and Kristen Zachares (Montclair). Curated by Robert P. Langdon.

Beth Ferris-Sale
"Morbid Beauty"
8" x 14"

Janice Gossman
"Queen Bee"
Digital Photograph
19" x 23"

Winston Mitlo
"Cigarette Smoker"
Watercolor and Ink
9" x 12"

Monday, October 19, 2015

CALL FOR ART: Primar(il)y Red: Artwork Celebrating the Color Red

Gallery U is pleased to host our annual December exhibition celebrating the color red. We are currently accepting submissions through November 13, 2015. All mediums and styles will be considered. Please see guidelines to the right. 

Friday, September 18, 2015

CALL FOR ART: "Piccolo: A Group Exhibition of Small Works"

Submission period is now open for our annual November exhibition "Piccolo: A Group Exhibition of Small Works". All styles and mediums  will be considered. Please see guidelines to the right. Submissions will be accepted through October 18, 2015.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Submissions open for our annual SOMETHING WICKED THIS WAY COMES exhibit!

We always look forward to October for many of the reasons is Gallery U's annual SOMETHING WICKED THIS WAY COMES exhibit celebrating horror and gothic art. You can find submissions guidelines to the right. All styles and mediums will be considered. Submission deadline is September 11. Here are a few pieces that were included in last year's exhibit to give you an idea:

"The End of the World"
Erin Kenna-O'Brien

"Lying In Wait"
Nancy Ori

"Ospedale Delle Bambole"
Charlann Meluso 

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

THIS SATURDAY: Artwork by students of Carl Kumpf Middle School

Join Gallery U Boutique in Westfield this Saturday, August 15 from 1-3 for a very special exhibition: THE KIDZ ARE ALRIGHT. 28 pieces of original art will be on exhibit from students of Carl H. Kumpf Middle School in Clark. Each piece will be sold for $25 and all proceeds will benefit the school. All are welcome. Please come out and support the students! Gallery U is located at 439 South Avenue West in Westfield.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

JUST ARRIVED: Digital art prints by Mike Brennan

Original digital art prints by Whitehouse Station artist Mike Brennan. 
Each piece of art is 8" x 10" and matted to 11" x 14"
$50 each
Get yours while supplies last!

"Summer Taxi"

"El Luchador Airstream"

"Red Mill Museum, Clinton, NJ"


all images copyright Mike Brennan. Image may not be used without the permission of Mike Brennan. 

Friday, August 7, 2015

JUST IN: Blank Note Cards of Artwork Made by Adults with Traumatic Brain Injuries

Join us this evening from 6-8 for the opening reception of "Pequenos: An Exhibition of Small Work." In addition, we have artwork by our traumatic brain injured clients featured in "Art In the Boutique." They have also been working hard on creating these wonderful boxed cards of their artwork which will be available for sale beginning today. Each set includes two copies of five different pieces of art. Tell your friends. Art makes a wonderful gift!

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

As Gallery U, Westfield approaches our two year anniversary it’s time to pause and reflect upon the highlights and accomplishments of the past.
Gallery U is the combination of a fully functioning art gallery along with a shopping boutique. We are an extension of Universal Institute Inc. and are a vocational rehabilitation site providing art and retail business opportunities for adult clients with Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI). The clients at Universal take part in running all aspects of Gallery U. They acquire work skills and experience the transformative power of art.

   The Gallery was founded on January 13, 2010 in Montclair NJ . It  quickly evolved into a venue for local artists. The proceeds from the art work are entered into the Universal Art Fund.
   Westfield is a town in Union County, New Jersey. It was settled in 1720. It has a population of 30,316 citizens. Six municipalities border Westfield.

Westfield’s downtown features 200 retail establishments. It is the ideal location for Universal’s latest project, our gallery and boutique.

 The founder of Universal Institute was Jerry Lasso. Drawing on his own experience as a paraplegic he founded Universal Institute, the parent company of Gallery U. Jerry believed that rehabilitation had to be person centered. He believed that therapy had to be individualized based upon the needs and desires of the client. It is Jerry’s philosophy that still guides the everyday operation of the gallery.
  The work of the clients at Universal are an integral component of the art displayed at Gallery U. Our creative clients are proud to showcase their work alongside local artists and designers in our boutique where a great selection of handmade items created by our clients with TBI are available for purchase. You can choose from greeting cards, beaded jewelry, tee’s, tote bags and planters.

    Over the years we have had numerous shows with well attended receptions.  The gallery enhances the cultural atmosphere of Westfield. From our humble beginnings in the town of Montclair, New Jersey the gallery has evolved into a real artistic mecca. In the words of Robert Greco,  Executive Director  “Art is the great equalizer.” Mr. Greco displays a talent for Management that keeps our employees productive.  Bob Langdon, Director of the gallery is the 'go to'  talent in charge of community out- reach. He curates the monthly art exhibits, and creates monthly events. He is an extremely capable manager who attends to the day-to-day running of our facility. There is a new show at our gallery every month. The rotation of the art keeps my job interesting. This job has awakened a slumbering aesthetic sensibility.

John B (Client , Gallery U)

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

CALL FOR ART from NJ Art Teachers

Submissions are now open for Gallery U's annual "Back to School: Works By NJ Art Teachers" exhibition which will run from September 4 - October 5, 2015. The exhibition is open to all NJ art teachers, current and former, who are/were in public or private practice. All mediums and styles will be considered. Please see our guidelines at  Please let your friends know about this wonderful opportunity. Deadline for submissions to "Back to School" is August 14, 2015. Gallery U is located in Westfield, NJ.

BACK TO SCHOOL: Works By NJ Art Teachers
September 4 - October 5, 2015

This exhibition will feature work that represents the diverse talents of art educators throughout New Jersey.

Gallery U, located in Westfield, NJ, is an extension of Universal Institute, which services adults with traumatic brain injuries (TBI). The gallery acts as a vocational training program whose goal is to introduce people with TBI back into the work force and community. Clients at Universal Institute take part in all aspects of running the gallery. Gallery U is a fully functional art space that holds monthly group art shows, poetry readings, and community events. Gallery U is located at 439 South Avenue W in Westfield, NJ. (908) 232-1895.

Open to all current and retired art educators who work(ed) in private, public or charter schools in New Jersey. Those who teach private lessons are also invited to submit work. 

Artwork will be considered in all two-dimensional media through digital jpeg submissions. Submissions are limited to a maximum of FIVE pieces. Acceptance into the exhibition is not guaranteed with entry. Gallery U reserves the right to reject work delivered at the time of the exhibition that is not the artist's accepted work. Selected artwork must be wired, framed (if media applicable) and ready to hang (no saw-tooth hangers). Canvases must be gallery wrapped or framed. Artwork must be less than 5 feet in height or width and able to fit through a standard door. Entered and accepted work cannot be substituted. All work must be available for the duration of the exhibition.

Submit up to 5 images. Artists are requested to submit digital images in JPEG format to Please use “Back to School Submission” as subject of e-mail. 
Each digital image must be saved in JPEG format, sized at a resolution of 72 dpi, with the largest dimension measuring 8 inches. (If selected for the exhibition, you will be requested to submit a higher resolution image for possible use in advertising.) 
  • Label images with consecutive numbers from 1 - 5. Save in the following format: Last name_ First initial_ Title_1; Last name_ First initial_ Title _2. 
  • A list of the images labeled in consecutive order must accompany your submission. List must state the following: Image #, artist name, title, medium, dimension (h x w), year of completion, and price.
  • Include an artist statement (not more than 3 paragraphs) on the work submitted. Briefly explain your choice of media, artistic vision, process, subject matter, influences, etc. 

July 13 - August 14, 2015: SUBMISSIONS ACCEPTED: On Line Entries must be submitted to Please use “Back to School Submission” as subject of e-mail.
August 19, 2015: Announcement of accepted artists. Accepted artists will be contacted via email.
Accepted work must be delivered to Gallery U on August 20 - 31, 2015
September 4, 2015: Show Opens / Opening reception (6-8 PM)
October 6 - November 7, 2015: Pick up of unsold work during gallery hours. Artwork remaining after November 8, 2015 will be donated. 

Accepted work must be received at Gallery U in Westfield on  August 20 - 31, 2015, during gallery hours. 
All unsold work must be picked  up  October 6 - November 7, 2015, during gallery hours. Artwork remaining after November 8, 2015 will be donated.
Accepted work may be refused if it does not conform to the image entry, at the Juror’s discretion. No substitutions of accepted works will be allowed. All accepted work must remain in the gallery for the duration of the exhibit. All selected work must be available for sale.
Artists will be responsible for delivery and return shipping of all their artwork.

Accepted works will be considered for sale at the price indicated and 50% of the selling price will be retained by Gallery U.  A purchaser may not remove work until the end of the exhibition. If sold, artist will receive payment within 60 days of artwork sale date. 

Great care will be taken with all work, but artists are responsible for insuring their own pieces if they wish.  Gallery U will not be responsible for any loss or damage to work while on the premises or in transit to or from the gallery. Artists are advised to obtain their own insurance.


August 20 - 31, 2015
All work must be suitably framed, wired and ready for hanging, or installation. No saw tooth hooks. Graphics, prints, watercolors and pastels must be framed. Canvas must be gallery wrapped or framed. All artwork must be able to be hung on a wall.
Shipped work must be packaged in a reusable container. NO STYROFOAM PEANUTS. A prepaid waybill for its return must be enclosed. Please make shipping arrangements through the U.S. Postal Service, DHL, FedEx, or UPS. COD returns are not acceptable.  The gallery accepts no responsibility for work not retrieved on the pick-up date. Artwork remaining after October 7, 2014 will be donated. 

PICK-UP unsold work:
October 6 - November 7, 2015 during gallery hours
Call (908) 232-1895 for gallery hours
Artwork remaining after November 8, 2015 will be donated. 

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

This Friday: Opening reception for Art In the Boutique: ELLEN MARTIN: The "a ban don ed" series

Please join us this Friday, July 10, 2015, from 6-8 PM for the opening reception of Art In the Boutique: ELLEN MARTIN: The "a ban don ed" series. In this series, Ellen Martin takes pictures of abandoned structures and things. “In truth, I have always been drawn to decrepitude. Age and neglect often bring wonderful textures, patinas and soft colors not always present in the shiny and new,” explains Martin. “Yes, I see rejection, loneliness, and sadness in these structures. But I also see beauty, dignity, and a certain sense of a useful life lived and completed. I see hope and potential. I hope some can survive instead of being destroyed.”

Poet Gwynneth Green perfectly captured Ellen's series in her poem "abandoned":

covered in graffiti
with no meaning
splashes of color
initialed hearts
of couples
that no longer exist
some call it art
look at it 
in a sketchy way 

what happened
to this once upon palace
where people gathered
in gaiety
it had a history
of family
it was a place
called home

what became
of them
most shy from this place
this space
to the ravages of time

this was the place to be seen
now it’s a place to fear
& drug dealers
are all that inhabit here

don’t drive down that street
stay far far away
time has not treated it well
looks better in black & white
not quite as frightening
not quite as forbearing 

if only to turn back time
maybe an answer 
to the reason why

poem copyright gwynneth green. poem may not be used, in any part,without the permission of gwynneth green. You can read more of Gwynneth's poetry by clicking here

images copyright ellen martin. images may not be used, in any part,without the permission of ellen martin. You can view more of ellen's art by clicking here

This Friday: Opening reception for FOTOGRAPHIA

Please join us this Friday, July 10, 2015, from 6-8 PM for the opening reception of FOTOGRAPHIA: AN EXHIBITION OF PHOTOGRAPHS. Participating artists include:

Luis Alves
Dorothy F. Bellew
CJ Berzin
Mike Brennan
Lauren Curtis
Michael Endy
George Garbeck
Roseann Grasso
Sheila R. Lenga
Charlann meluso
Tricia Miho
Susan Napack
Nancy Ori
Gina Petrecca
Chuck Poole
Caryn Seifer
Leona M. Seufert

Also opening that evening Art in the Boutique: ELLEN MARTIN the "a ban don ed" series

CJ Berzin
"Glamorous Girl"
Photographic Print, Dye Sublimation on Aluminum
18" x 12"

Mike Brennan
Photographic Metalic Print
16" x 20"

Chuck Poole
"Reflections of Freedom"
36" x 24"

Lauren Curtis
"NOLA Church (Jackson Square)"
16" x 20"

Charlann Meluso
"Grand View"
24" x 16"